Engaging men in violence prevention in the Pacific

Erikson, The Warwick principles - Best practices for engaging men and boys in preventing violence 2020 - The principles

There are growing efforts to engage men and boys in preventing men’s violence against women in the Asia Pacific.

Principles and practices

The Pacific Regional Dialogue on Engaging Men in the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls took place over five days in September 2019, in Fiji. It included presentations of various initiatives and programs in the region aimed at men and boys, including both primary prevention strategies and secondary and tertiary intervention strategies aimed at men already using violence. The Regional Dialogue was led by the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women, and was a collaboration between the Fiji Women Crisis Centre (FWCC) and UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO). See here for a detailed story on the Pacific Regional Dialogue.

What are the principles that should guide violence prevention work with men and boys? The Warwick Principles: Best Practices for Engaging Men and Boys in Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls in the Pacific were launched in Fiji in December 2020. See the full principles statement, and background, here.

Prevention initiatives in the Asia-Pacific must address the patterns of masculinity, understandings of violence, and ideologies of gender common in these countries, as this article by Michael Flood and Alankaar Sharma argues.

Strategies for change

A key strategy of violence prevention is community mobilisation, which involves bringing individuals and groups together through coalitions, networks, and movements to broaden prevention efforts. In Fiji and the region, the Male Advocacy Program recruits, trains, and mobilises men as advocates for violence prevention

On the Male Advocacy Program:

  • This chapter describes the program in detail.
  • This 2019 press release describes the Bougainville Male Advocates Forum (23–27 September 2019).
  • This 2018 piece provides some background.
  • Shamima Ali, Coordinator of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, describes the pioneering Male Advocacy Program in this 2014 piece, pp. 8-9.

Another common form of prevention activity involves social marketing and communications. In PNG for example, the Men of Honour campaign aims aimed to break the cycle of violence through focusing on positive behaviour.

Scholarship on masculinities in the Pacific

A PhD thesis by Mercy Natalie Masta examines Pacific Masculinities; Exploring Men’s Perspectives and Experiences of Masculinity, and Efforts to Engage Men and Boys in Preventing Violence in Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Family violence initiatives and Pacific Men are the focus of a literature review by Gemma Malungahu and Vili Nosa (2016).

Violence prevention work among men and boys in the Pacific should be based on knowledge of the patterns of masculinities, violence, and gender in countries and cultures in the region. There is valuable scholarship on patterns of men’s lives and masculinities in Pacific Island countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand. See the bibliography here.

Also see...

Also see this wide-ranging XY collection on men's roles in ending men's violence against women.